Friday, January 18, 2008


Author: Chuck Palahnuik

Type: Fiction

Shepnerd Rating: 3 Stars

Choke is a bitter, funny, interesting story that doesn't really go anywhere or resolve anything important. The author, famous for "Fight Club", uses the same formula is this work: engaging quirky characters, weird set-ups, un-redeemable situations pursued by unconscionable characters.
The character Vincent tells us in the opening paragraph that we will not like him. He is right. A child raised part in foster care and part by a chaotic jail-bird mom, Vincent grows up to become a medical student forced to drop out of college to provide for his mother who is dying with Alzheimer's disease. He takes a job in an amusement park to pay his bills, and pretends to choke in fancy restaurants to scam people out of money in order to pay for his mom's care. His quirky loser friend Dennis, his mom's Doctor, and his whacked-out mom serve as pivots the move around his dysfunctional system of being. He's also a sex addict (all this comes out in the first chapter alone!) whose sexual romps add little but funny sequences and shock to the story.
Its a great set-up with almost no denouement. By the time Vincent admits to Dr. Marshall that he doesn't want his mom to die, and doesn't want her to get better - that he wants her just to hover helplessly at the brink of death so he can be in control of her for a chance -- we realize he is right. We are not ever going to like Vincent.
Good writing, stagnant story.

1 comment:

SBTVD said...

Hello. This post is likeable, and your blog is very interesting, congratulations :-). I will add in my blogroll =). If possible gives a last there on my blog, it is about the SBTVD, I hope you enjoy. The address is A hug.